So I’m coming up on my 500th blog post for my wedding photography blog and it made me think about what I’d want to share in my 500th blog post. I came up with a couple of different posts to share along the way that I thought would be helpful to my clients. So today’s blog post is about how to plan and enjoy your portrait photography experience before the wedding.
ENGAGEMENT SESSION TIPS
1) Plan your outfits and have them ready to go the day before the engagement portrait session. There’s nothing worse and more stressful, than running around 30 minutes before the session trying to find some accessories or even another outfit option. Save yourself the stress. Go shopping with your fiancé a week or two before the session and finalize your outfits together. (Remember, you don’t want to be too matchy-matchy.) Then the day before the session make sure everything is washed and ready to wear and you’ll be good to go before the shoot.
2) When shopping for your outfits, think of your wedding showers, brunches, your honeymoon and other occasions that you can re-wear your new outfit too. You can save some of your wedding budget by purchasing outfits that you can wear multiple times.
3) Ladies, schedule a make up appointment or even a hair appointment for your engagement shoot. It’s totally worth it! You can schedule your make up appointment with your wedding day make up consultant or just run to your favorite make up counter at the mall and have do up your face for the session and buy a couple of new products. You can also get your hair done at a Blow Dry Bar or have your hair stylist do a quick trim. You definitely won’t have to do any major retouching for your images if you come to the session looking your best. If you need a make up recommendation within the Dallas Metroplex, then I recommend Amanda Hugdahl or AH Makeup Artistry, Angie Williams of AW Wedding Hair and Courtney of Chi Ro Make Up Studio. Make sure to allow for plenty of extra time if you chose to do a hair and/or make up appointment. You don’t want to run late for your engagement portraits – so allow an additional hour or two for your appointments.
4) Make a date night of the engagement session. I’ve learned throughout the years that if I have something great to look forward to with my husband after our portrait session, then he’s a little more excited about the experience. I usually book a dinner reservation at a fabulous restaurant and we make a whole night of it. We already are dressed up and looking fabulous and it allows us to spend even more fun together after the pictures are done. We love to treat ourselves to someplace like Truluck’s, Chamberlain’s, Jasper’s, or The Keg.
5) Feel free to think of something fun you can do together as part of the portrait session. I’ve had couples bring their dirt bikes, plan a power-paint fight, grab some Starbucks or a whole picnic full of props. If there’s something fun you do together as a couple, then let’s think of ways we can incorporate that into the session.
6) When choosing a location, don’t worry too much about it. My photos concentrate way more on the people than the setting. Unless you have some crazy-cool architectural location in mind, then the location is just a simple backdrop. When I shoot my portraits, I’m really just looking for good light, a simple background and a great way to have my couples interact in the image. You can view some Dallas/Fort Worth locations here.
BRIDAL PORTRAIT SESSION TIPS
1) When planning the location, know that you’ll typically either pay for an indoor location or you’ll pay to have your dress cleaned and pressed before the wedding. Now I never run my brides through the mud or anything and most of the time the dress is just fine after an hour outside in some grassy areas. But if you want to ensure a perfectly cleaned wedding dress on the wedding day, then we can book an indoor location for a fee or you can just pre-plan to have your dress cleaned before the wedding (if it’s needed).
2) You can bring a bouquet or not – that’s totally up to you. You have a couple of options when it’s comes to your bridal portrait bouquet. You can call ahead and have your wedding florist create an exact replica of your wedding day bouquet; you can have your wedding day florist create a smaller, less elaborate bouquet, or you can have a local florist or even a grocery store florist create a super-simple day of bridal portrait bouquet. Either way, we’ll do some photos with your bouquet and some without it. So you can invest as much or as little as you like for your bridal portrait bouquet. My favorite florists are Posh Floral Designs, Lush Couture, Dr. Delphinium, & Bows & Arrows.
3) Schedule your hair and make up with plenty of time before the bridal portrait session. You don’t want to run late for your bridal portraits when you could have just allowed more time for hair and make up to finish their trial runs for your wedding day. It’s definitely worth it to schedule an additional 1-2 hours for those appointments so that everyone has time to do their job well and for you to arrive on time for your bridal portraits.
4) Feel free to bring a one or two people along with you for your bridal portraits. Typically my brides bring their mom and maid of honor along for the bridal portrait session. Any more than two people and you’ll start to feel a bit self-conscience about all of the people staring at you as I have you pose for your bridals.
5) Bring comfortable shoes to wear during the session and we’ll bust out the crazy-pretty wedding day shoes for a couple of portraits. There’s no need to suffer wearing your high heels for your bridal portrait session because we really won’t even see your shoes in most of the images. So I recommend wearing some comfortable shoes to walk around in and we’ll slip on your heels for some images when I want to see them beneath your dress.
I hope these are some helpful tips for your portrait sessions.